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  • Recovery time from Ulnar shortening?

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    Old 07-13-2016, 04:54 PM   #1
    msd94
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    Question Recovery time from Ulnar shortening?

    I had surgery back in mid March for ulnar shortening. I've been careful not to overuse it since then, but I was off of it for nearly 2 years. I've gotten most mobility back, but still get a lot of pain with any type of hand/wrist extension (moving towards the upper part of the hand/opposite of palm side). I'm in college currently, and up until the wrist issues I did gymnastics and breakdancing. I want to return to these activities but at this point can't even do push-ups without pain, even though any type of pulling exercise gives no pain. How long should I expect to have to stretch my wrist until I can at least start strengthening again?

    Thank you!

     
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    Old 07-13-2016, 07:15 PM   #2
    MountainReader
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    Re: Recovery time from Ulnar shortening?

    Did you have PT after your cast came off? If not, it might be a good idea to consider. If your healing doesn't feel 'normal' you may want to go back to talk to your surgeon.

    I had some of the same TFCC area pain and I stalled out in regaining my ROM to suppinate. I ended up getting a second opinion from a different wrist specialist and he pointed out my plate was the problem. When he showed me, I could actually feel it moving around a when I felt a certain spot. My surgery was in March a couple years ago and I had the plate out in November, along with TFCC debridement. Within a couple weeks of my plate coming out, the pain significantly improved and I regained full ROM. I had a couple PT sessions, but that was all I needed at that point.

    The second opinion doctor pointed out how the plate for the ulnar shortening can be a problem for some. It is close to the surface since there is little fat over that area. There is also a lot of bones and movement happening in a very small space there and the plate can cause some irritation of its own sometimes. That was the case for me.

    I had pain issues for over a year before surgery that didn't respond to conservative measures. It has been about 3 years since my second surgery and I still have full ROM and remain pain free.

    Good luck with your healing.
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    Old 07-14-2016, 03:50 PM   #3
    msd94
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    Re: Recovery time from Ulnar shortening?

    I got a second opinion before actually going forward with the surgery, but not afterwards. I've been back every few weeks for x-rays and he said it looks like it's healing well and shouldn't have too many problems. I was told I should keep the plate in for a year, and if I feel like I need/want it out then after a year it could be done. Is it possible to have it removed before a year?

     
    Old 07-14-2016, 07:33 PM   #4
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    Re: Recovery time from Ulnar shortening?

    My surgery was done by my second opinion too. When I complained about the pain afterwards, he kept telling me that he had fixed me and offered more cortisone shots if I wanted them. I declined since I already had 2 before the first surgery. When I saw the next surgeon, he immediately recommended removing the plate. I was about 7 months out at that point. While the 1 year recommendation is standard, the bones are healed at 6 weeks and are pretty strong by the 6 month mark was what I was told when I asked the same question. I had absolutely no problems with having it removed sooner.

    You don't mention why you had the ulnar shortening. You may also want to further evaluate any TFCC injury that may still need to be addressed, like a UT split tear, that may not show on an MRI. The soft tissue stuff wouldn't show up on the x-rays anyway.
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    Old 07-15-2016, 06:24 PM   #5
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    Re: Recovery time from Ulnar shortening?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MountainReader View Post
    My surgery was done by my second opinion too. When I complained about the pain afterwards, he kept telling me that he had fixed me and offered more cortisone shots if I wanted them. I declined since I already had 2 before the first surgery. When I saw the next surgeon, he immediately recommended removing the plate. I was about 7 months out at that point. While the 1 year recommendation is standard, the bones are healed at 6 weeks and are pretty strong by the 6 month mark was what I was told when I asked the same question. I had absolutely no problems with having it removed sooner.

    You don't mention why you had the ulnar shortening. You may also want to further evaluate any TFCC injury that may still need to be addressed, like a UT split tear, that may not show on an MRI. The soft tissue stuff wouldn't show up on the x-rays anyway.

    I had an MRI done before the surgery. I had the ulnar shortening because generally while flexion of my wrist/hand was fine, any extension would cause pain. Originally it was just when it had weight on it, but it got to the point where even no added weight would cause pain. How would one check for something that wouldn't show up in an MRI? I had an arthroscopy done about a year before the surgery and he said he found some tears in the cartilege that he smoothed. Is there something else that might still be there?

     
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